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Retail review needed

Now that the spending spree heralding the religious festival and the sales are over, it is perhaps a good time to reflect on the issue.

It would be true to say that shoppers’ have never had it so good. With internet, retail parks and High Street vying for their custom then prices are probably falling.

So one must ask, what is the problem if price is the only criterion that matter?

Of course it isn’t and people still want the ‘High Street Experience’ and so the issue is how to create a 21st Century shopping experience that combines the three elements mentioned above.

Most retailers seem to be pinning their hopes of improved fortunes on a cut in business rates and the apprentice levy: no new thinking to adapt to assimilate the new reality.

The Government is no better seeking to pump millions of our cash into the outmoded, currently failing situation.

In my view, what is needed is for a place like Swindon to embark on a cross country review of other towns to assess how they are doing.

Apart from some particular experiences, common themes can be examined and maybe they could work here.

Really there is no option. Minor adjustments to the present situation will, in my view, condemn the present experience to a lingering death.

We need to seize the day and be countrywide leaders in a new retail experience, embracing what’s best from the Hight Street model, on-line click-n-collect and retail venues centred around café/leisure centres.

Viva Swindon!

Bob Pixton, Abney Moor, Liden

Support for hospital

Could I, through your paper, congratulate everyone at the Great Western Hospital for the way they looked after me and hundreds more over the festive season and continue doing so – not only the nursing staff and the doctors but the volunteers such as the WVS right through to the people at the top of the tree.

I wonder how they cope sometimes, always smiling and kind and thoughtful and when you speak to them.

The one certain thing you learn is that, when you see those headlines all across the front of the Evening Advertiser saying the hospital is behind with appointments or not meeting targets and standards, it is to do with the people who should be supporting all hospitals more, like the Government and not the staff who work there.

Here is the icing on the cake – I was in Mercury Ward over Christmas and we all received a shoe box Christmas present – a beautifully decorated box with all different kinds of most welcome presents.

What a lovely thought and gratefully appreciated like everything else.

Tony Price, By email

Ye of little faith

Re: “Faith not strong in Swindon-survey.” (SA, January 2)

I’m currently reading about British soldiers incarcerated in Auschwitz during the Second World War.

One prisoner, a Christian, relates how he was often taunted by fellow prisoners for his faith amid deep suffering of the inmates (The Saboteur of Auschwitz by Colin Rushton)

‘Where is your God now?’ they would call to him as he read his Holy Bible.

However, when the allies dropped bombs, he noted that the same men who questioned the existence of his God were the same men who clenched their hands and thanked God for their deliverance after the shelter had been bombed.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

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